Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (8/14/64)

Rolling Stones 5 X 5

The Rolling Stones released seven different albums in the ten months between April 1964 and February 1965, creating a maddening dilemma for us vinyl junkies. Decca Records in the U.K. and London, the U.S. distributor, often used the same cover photo, but slight track differences required serious fans and collectors to buy two albums.  And then there were EP’s, or extended players, which were confined to the U.K. market (the format was never popular in America) and contained a half-dozen or so tracks, including a current hit or two. EP’s were slowly being phased out on August 14, 1964 when Decca released 5 X 5 in the U.K.  The five tracks (by five Stones, hence 5 X 5) never appeared on any British LP at the time, but were included with seven additional tracks on the U.S. album 12 X 5 (twelve songs by five guys, get it?) when it came out in October 1964. Both 5 X 5 and 12 X 5 include the wonderful blues-rock instrumental, “2120 South Michigan Avenue,” whose songwriting credit is one “Nanker Phelge,” a nom de plume of sorts for this group composition. 5 X 5 is long out of print, but 12 X 5 is available on Amazon and iTunes. The Stones are in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.

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